Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Posted by OsinachiAtama on 17 May 2022 in English (English).

Hi!! I am getting acquainted with the OSM hot keys(keyboard shortcuts) and it makes the editing easier. At this point I have added over 800 buildings to my father’s village. It’s been fun so far and I’d like to move on to my mother’s village.

Osinachi Atama #umtmapmyvillage

Happy mapping you all!!!

Posted by JimjimW13 on 16 May 2022 in English (English).

I’m currently working on it and to be honest I am unaware of what, and or how.

Location: Willamina, Yamhill County, Oregon, United States


In most Yangtze Delta cities, buses usually operate in three separate networks: City Buses (城市公交), Suburban Buses (城乡公交) and Town-Village Buses (镇村公交). Some of those do operate outside the city boundaries, which are classified as Intercity Buses (毗邻公交), they can also be a City Bus Line, a Suburban Bus Line or a Town-Village Bus Line.

There exist a group of enthusiasts who spend their weekends from one city to another city purely by buses or subway lines, such a route is possible by benefiting from the tremendously complicated and connected bus network of Yangtze Delta Cities. I’m one of those enthusiasts who usually spend my entire weekend on buses and subway lines from city to city, as such I do exactly have “local knowledge” that I could benefit others if I can draw these lines on OpenStreetMap. In such a circumstance I figured out that there isn’t a proper way to mark the type of a bus line. After a long discussion with some of the experienced users, I decided to add an unofficial tag network:route:bus:type to tackle this special issue around Yangtze Delta.

For values of network:route:bus:type I would temporary provide city, urban, suburban, town, intercity as five valid options, further extension is possible.

  • city (城市公交), suburban (城乡公交), town (镇村公交) options are used when 3-level bus networks exist in such an area.
  • urban (市域公交) option is used when there’s only a single bus network, this option should not use on it’s own since you don’t really need it.
  • intercity (毗邻公交) option is used for bus routes that operate outside the city boundary limit, this is a optional tag and should be used with the other options.

1. Route 宜兴城乡公交225 is a suburban line and do have a stop outside the city boundary limit, we set network:route:bus:type=suburban,intercity to it.
2. Route 常州公交34 and 无锡公交26 are city, suburban, town-village mixed line and have stops outside the city boundary limit, since both city only has a single bus network, we set network:route:bus:type=urban,intercity to them.
3. Route 江阴-常州 is a purely intercity line and operates at two different cities, as such we only set network:route:bus:type=intercity to it.

When applying network:route:bus:type to a route, public_transport:version must set as 2 to indicate PTv2 is used. Then set public_transport:v2ext as yes to explicitly declare that this line is using unofficial extended features. Only set network:route:bus:type to the proper value when both of the public_transport tag is set.


After hearing advises and suggestions from the comment section, this flag is now deprecated and being replaced. Further more information will be updated soon on a separated article.

Location: 宜城街道, Yixing, Wuxi City, Jiangsu, 214200, China

I was involved in mobilisation and signing up new members to OSM and participated in a mapathon titled “#mapmyvillage”.

One of the things that note-viewer does is showing notes on a map. They are displayed as markers which we can click to find notes in the table. Map markers show us locations and statuses of notes, the rest of note details can be found in the table. But we can dig deeper into these details. From the last diary entry we know that note-viewer looks for links to osm elements inside note comments. When clicked these links display their linked element on the map. That shows us the element geometry, but now we may want to see more details about the element. The map is displayed using Leaflet library1 which supports adding popups to various items that are shown over the base layer. A popup seems like an appropriate place to show the element version, changeset, last editing user and tags.

What’s the best way for us to implement these popups? If we just bind the popup (layer.bindPopup()) to the element geometry on the map, the user would have to click the element for the popup to show up. Sometimes that’s not very convenient to do because of note markers covering the geometry. To make things easier we can open the popup right away (layer.openPopup()) when the element link is clicked. But that’s not the only thing that needs to happen at that moment, and we may find ourselves struggling a bit with Leaflet. Obviously the linked element may be outside the current map view and we need to pan and zoom to it (map.panTo(), map.flyTo() or others). Opening the popup could have done part of this job because by default the map pans to the opened popup. That still doesn’t take care of zooming. But you may think so what, just let the user zoom to the tip of the popup to find the element on the map.

Here comes up our next problem: when the popup is opened at a low zoom level, after zooming it may drift away from the intended place. Anyway we probably want to zoom first and then open the popup. It would have been nice if we could queue the popup opening after the zooming/panning is finished. We’ll have to do that by listening to animation end events. There are zoomend and moveend events, which ones do we need to listen to? Maybe the map is already at a correct zoom level or at max zoom and the element is small. Then the zooming is not going to happen. Will the zoomend event also not happen in which case waiting for it is useless? But maybe the panning is also not going to happen and waiting for moveend is useless too? Apparently the moveend event happens after every call like map.panTo() or map.flyTo(), so we’ll wait for this event and then open the popup.

We’re still not done because for some unclear reason Leaflet sometimes manages to open the popup at a wrong location even after the map finished moving and zooming. Normally we would attach the popup to the geometry with layer.bindPopup() where we can also set popup options. One of the options is autoPan which is on by default as mentioned above. When the popup is opened at a wrong place, the map view scrolls away from the element with this option on, not something we want. With this option off, the popup stays outside the view, not something we want either. Here’s what we can do to solve this problem and what note-viewer currently does:

  1. Add the geometry to the map.
  2. Tell the map to .panTo()/.flyTo() the element if it’s a node or fit the element’s bounding box (layer.getBounds()) into the map view (map.fitBounds()) and wait for moveend.
  3. In the moveend listener create new L.popup() not bound to any geometry.
  4. Set the popup coordinates (popup.setLatLng()) to the current map center (map.getCenter()).
  5. Open the popup (popup.openOn(map)).
  6. Only after the steps above bind the popup to the geometry (layer.bindPopup(popup)).

Now the popup is going to be shown at the center of the element’s bounding box. This is not ideal because this center may be outside the element itself, but at least it’s not at some random location. That’s true unless the user manages to interrupt the map movement by grabbing the map before the animation stops, but they’ll have to do that on purpose and be quick.

  1. Everything written here is concerned with Leaflet v1.7.1 and may not be exactly true for the recently released v1.8. 

We have now run three casual mapping parties in the “Social Mapping Sunday” series, and they are always a bit different but each one has been as fun as the last.

Shenton Park

In Shenton Park, lots of brand new mappers showed up and were introduced to OSM for the first time. About 13 of us in total! Meeting in the park and walking to nearby features to map worked well.

We didn’t come prepared with specific material to introduce new mappers, and we ended up spending a lot of time installing apps and setting up user accounts, etc. This was not a problem per-se, because it needs to be done. But it would have been smoother if we had a link to send people to which helped people get set up with the basics.

Changes in Shenton Park

Mount Lawley

In Mount Lawley, 6 of us returning mappers set ourselves some explicit goals, and got a lot of data added to the map. We set the goal of mapping all of the shops and their names, footpaths, benches, bins, bus stops, bike parking and trees. We started in the middle of the shopping strip with a small team on each side of the road, and worked all the way to one end. Even though we didn’t map the whole retail strip, the are we did cover, we covered completely, which is very satisfying.

Changes in Mount Lawley

This gif shows the multiple stages of editing that these events encourage: The first step is cleaning up existing data and tracing features from imagery. This is important because it makes it easier to add data during the survey. It is also the best time to make assumptions based on the imagery, because any mistakes will be found during the survey. The next step is adding all of the data during the survey. The final step is cleaning things up, removing a few duplicates, fixing the odd tag, and generally making things neater with more powerful editing tools.


I have followed the same basic process that I described in my last post, for organising these events, but a few adjustments should be helpful. I have started a page on the wiki to document the process (in the hope that it continues to run, even when I can’t organise it).

It is important to do whole-group activities before everyone heads of to do mapping. That means before we start mapping we should: 1. take a photo of everyone, 2. decide on the details for the next event, and 3. decide on how to reconvene after mapping, for those who will stick around. Then 4. decide on mapping goals.

I have cobbled together a script for creating the before-and-after gifs showcased in this post. The most important part, is the awesome rendering engine Map Machine, which takes .osm files as input, so I can render the same area with the same settings passing in the data from different points in time (that I saved out of JOSM). I then use Image Magick’s convert to put the frames together into a gif.

Location: Mount Lawley, City Of Stirling, Western Australia, 6050, Australia

(In April, I was not as active as before with OSM(F) stuff, because there was water damage in my flat, which was very stressful & time consuming to solve)


2022 Jan. Feb. Mar.                  
2021 Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2020 Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Social Media: 🐦 twitter: @lalonde / 🐘 fediverse/mastodon microblog: (rss feed)

  1. not them 

Posted by badenk on 14 May 2022 in English (English).

Hi Andy and DWG:

I did not take composing this response lightly. I have always mapped assuming good faith and intelligence with co-mappers, both which have seemingly diminished.

If I got a message about a changeset, I first checked the author’s edit count (i.e. experience), and whether they were locally mapping. You can visit my message list to see that I went well out of my way to address legitimate queries.

recent examples:

If the author has minimal edits and no local presence, I will not encourage trolls. I especially detest, as probably many others also do, bird-doggers who have zero interest in the local mapping, and whose total focus is on policing, often using external tools. I do not know of any individuals who enjoy being watched over their shoulders.

A perfect example of this is:

The author had unbelievably zero edits and brazenly stated, “I’m sure that you’ve been asked several times”, when in actuality, I never had been.

Another mapper joined the recent fray from nowhere. It looks like his modus operandi is already recognised:

And another with zero edits:

Andy, as for the “asked more than once previously”, whom are you referring to? I only saw that one message a few months ago. You insinuated that there was a huge hue and cry. A bunch of BS on some external blog does not cut it.

As for the comments, the two machines I predominately use for OSM do not have keyboards, so even writing a few words is a chore. Additionally, it impossible to edit those comments, even when they are misplaced and incorrect. Thus, I cannot imagine those comments having any real value except for the pseudo policia.

As for the sources, I am not sure if you know, but the imagery source used is automatically added to the OSM changeset database. Additionally, I frequently checked and used all the imagery available on my editors, so each node or way could have had multiple exclusive sources. If I used external imagery, such as Sentinel2, I normally attributed it.

Until May 3, everything seemed to be fine. I had been contentedly and diligently mapping the same way for years, without any objection. I have over 12 000 edits, which probably consumed well over 10 000 hours of my volunteered and dedicated time. I prided myself on top quality mapping and mapping entirely new routes, notably railways.

On May 3, one rude, obnoxious and ignorant individual named “Herman Lee” instigated and propagated this recent shitshow, and that should be readily apparent to any competent person. Why did he or you not respond to my queries when I asked why he sent 8 messages in less than 90 minutes, all containing large inexplicable binaries? I still consider his actions nefarious, especially considering a zero explanation.

Andy, you sent me a (DWG) message to respond, and then when I went to do so, I found you had blocked my account. I hope you can discern the ludicrous irony there? Maybe you think that that most OSM dweebs are spending most their time in their mother’s basements dedicated to OSM? I already know I spent (wasted?) too much OCD time on OSM, and my intermittent connections and other real responsibilities have prevented any more.

As for my guide lines and circles that I have been using for many years, it became acceptable to me when I noticed that OSM was riddled with millions of metres of “Hires” ways. I initially and ironically was deleting some of them, as I erroneously thought they were blatant commercial promotion for jobs, such as “Yahoo Hires” and “Bing Hires”, versus the actually intended term ‘high resolution’.

When I mapped new features, especially railway curves, I initially estimated the size and radius, and then with updated imagery, sized and aligned them more accurately. Maybe you did not know, but railway curves have a constant radius, which is well mapped using a template circle. The beauty was, if the placement was off, I only had to quickly move the line or circle and all the attached nodes moved with it. Conversely, each node would need to be individually moved, which would take substantial effort and time.

I also extensively used Sentinel2Explorer on new railway projects. Occasionally, I temporarily added the “highway=path” tag to make the way visible on Sentinel2Explorer, which AFAIK, was the only publicly accessible ‘real time’ and recent imagery. I could then get visible overlay feedback on OSM ways inside Sentinel2Explorer after the change propagated. Often, clear images could take weeks or longer. With what I did, there was no lasting visibility on publicly available maps. After I was satisfied with my way’s accuracy, I deleted the guidelines. Maximal mapping accuracy was consistently my objective, not adhering to a few valueless directives.

I would be interested if a more proficient individual than I could suggest any better method to map new ways without existing imagery.

My temporary additions contrasted to the proliferation of millions of incorrectly imported hash tag highway paths and other objects destined to persist indefinitely and which are actually non-existent. You seemed to have been able to delete most my ~thousand remaining guidelines in three seconds, which indicates it was not actually a problem. The fact that drawing each circle guideline consumed 30 minutes or more of my time was immaterial. I do not think DWG will be addressing with the same vigour all the useless “hires” lines and millions of errant “paths”.

My enjoyment value had been steady declining. A year or two ago, my WWW browsers stopped functioning to edit OSM. A month or two ago, my WWW browsers stopped functioning to even view OSM. A side effect from this, is I cannot even respond to emailed OSM links, as I have to first obtain another computer to view OSM, for which I first need to forward the emailed queries to.

Minimal appreciation and maximal policing along with an autocratic approach to any differences has culminated to where I think it is best that I take a sustained, and possibly permanent, vacation from this project.

thanks, Baden

Posted by Capo1986 on 13 May 2022 in English (English).

ctrl + shift + o: opens the “Download object” dialogue, allowing you to download by ID

A whilst in node drawing mode: toggles accurate drawing mode, allowing you to align to common angles and with previous points. You can also hold ctrl and hover over another way to draw parallel with it

ctrl + alt + v: paste copied object into the source position (i.e. where it was when you copied it). Useful when working with multiple layers

5: zoom to downloaded area

4: zoom to conflict

ctrl + h: display history

holding ctrl while drawing a way starts a new way from a point

shift + j: join overlapping areas

alt + shift + f: opens the filter dialogue allowing you to hide certain objects

I’ve recently got into learning some of the more hidden functions in JOSM, and I’ve discovered a lot of cool dialogues and functions that I didn’t know existed before. Here are some of my favourite keyboard shortcuts (make sure you’ve toggled expert mode on):

  • ctrl + shift + o: opens the “Download object” dialogue, allowing you to download by ID
  • A whilst in node drawing mode: toggles accurate drawing mode, allowing you to align to common angles and with previous points. You can also hold ctrl and hover over another way to draw parallel with it
  • ctrl + alt + v: paste copied object into the source position (i.e. where it was when you copied it). Useful when working with multiple layers
  • 5: zoom to downloaded area
  • 4: zoom to conflict
  • ctrl + h: display history
  • holding ctrl while drawing a way starts a new way from a point
  • shift + j: join overlapping areas
  • alt + shift + f: opens the filter dialogue allowing you to hide certain objects

I’m sure there’s many more that I’ve missed!

Posted by wielandb on 12 May 2022 in English (English). Last updated on 16 May 2022.

I did some statistical evaluation around StreetComplete, and in this post I describe what I evaluated and what the results are.

(This post is more or less the english text version of this YouTube video, which is in german. There is also a german version of this post here.)

First of all, how did I evaluate this data, or rather, where did I get all the info I’m talking about here? The basis was the StreetCompleteNumbers script that I wrote some time ago. It’s a Python script that can be used to find out the number of solved quests for a user. The script is also available on GitHub. One can use this script very easily:

from StreetCompleteNumbers import StreetCompleteNumbers


Then we just had to find out who are the users whose StreetComplete numbers we want to download. I tried to develop a method that makes as small a number of requests to the OpenStreetMap servers as possible. So simply downloading the entire changeset history for every user I come across should be avoided. I was using the daily replication diffs since October 2021 (so since half a year ago). I downloaded every diff file, and looked at every changeset that occurred in it. If a changeset contains the changeset tag StreetComplete:QuestType, I trigger a download and save of its numbers for that user. Also, the program remembers for which users it has already saved StreetComplete numbers, so that they are not downloaded twice for the same user.

So I ended up with StreetComplete numbers for 5284 users, which was my database. And so we came directly to the first limitation of this evaluation. Only users who solved at least one StreetComplete quest between October 2021 and March 2022 appear in this statistic.

Before we get to the statistics, it should be said that I do not want to name any users in this evaluation, so we will only see the countries of the top users. So, let’s get to the statistics now:

How many ★ do the top users have?

One statistic

How many users have disabled quests enabled?

To do this, I created a list myself of quests that were disabled by default and checked for each user in my database to see if they had at least one solution for at least one of those quests. The evaluation showed, one third of the users did not solve a single quest that was disabled by default. In theory, this doesn’t have to mean that these users haven’t activated any of these quests, but since many quests are deactivated because they are so spammy, I think we have a good estimate here.

How many quests were solved in total?

The data I have indicates that over 14 million quests have been solved using StreetComplete. (To be precise, there were 13,975,938 quests at the time of the survey, which is why the percentages in the table below are based on this figure).

How are the solved quests distributed among the colors?

In StreetComplete, each quest has a color that assigns it to a rough category. The categories are the following:

  • Blue represents footpaths and pedestrians.
  • Yellow represents streets and cars
  • Light gray (beige?) represents buildings
  • Dark grey represents man_made, so roughly “infrastructure”
  • Orange is for stores
  • Pink represents bicycles
  • Green is for public facilities like benches and trash cans
  • Brown represents nature

The colors as image

Here is the distribution as a graph:

The colors statistics

And here as a table:

Single Color Total Percent  
Light Brown 91112 13975938 0.65%
Gray 109326 13975938 0.78%
Orange 307434 13975938 2.20%
Green 391304 13975938 2.80%
Pink 585953 13975938 4.19%
Yellow 2963361 13975938 21.20%
Blue 4697256 13975938 33.61%
Light Gray 4830192 13975938 34.56%

Which quests are solved the most/least often?

Here is a graph showing the 3 most frequently solved quests, as well as the quests that have been solved under 100 times overall by all users:

A statistic

I think the quests with extremely few solutions can all be explained relatively easily:

  • “Is it possible to refuel at this gas station itself?” is not shown in Germany - which is very strongly represented in OSM and StreetComplete.
  • “Is there a summit book at this summit?” has probably not been answered so often because, on the one hand, there are not so many summits. For another, running through a city with StreetComplete is one thing, but climbing mountain peaks with StreetComplete is something else :D
  • The barrier-quests, air-conditioning-quest and physical-height-quest are all relatively new and probably therefore hardly answered yet. The air conditioning quest is disabled by default, and the physical height quest is in last place in my opinion, because you have to use the AR measurement tool for it, which not all phones have.

Here is another graph that shows some more quests with their respective percentages:

A statistic

And here is the whole list of quests in ascending order by the number of their solutions:

Quest-ID Number solved All solved quests Proportion of this quest in all solutions
AddMaxPhysicalHeight 19 13975938 0,0001%
AddAirConditioning 52 13975938 0,0004%
AddBarrierOnRoad 60 13975938 0,0004%
AddSummitRegister 65 13975938 0,0005%
AddBarrierOnPath 76 13975938 0,0005%
AddFuelSelfService 93 13975938 0,0007%
AddAcceptsCash 122 13975938 0,0009%
AddPoliceType 126 13975938 0,0009%
AddCyclewayWidth 149 13975938 0,0011%
AddTrafficCalmingType 214 13975938 0,0015%
AddWheelchairAccessToiletsPart 376 13975938 0,0027%
CheckOpeningHoursSigned 380 13975938 0,0027%
AddFerryAccessPedestrian 389 13975938 0,0028%
AddFerryAccessMotorVehicle 454 13975938 0,0032%
AddStileType 502 13975938 0,0036%
AddBarrierType 631 13975938 0,0045%
AddCameraType 717 13975938 0,0051%
AddBikeParkingFee 756 13975938 0,0054%
AddWheelchairAccessOutside 756 13975938 0,0054%
AddStreetParking 771 13975938 0,0055%
AddLevel 802 13975938 0,0057%
AddBikeParkingAccess 938 13975938 0,0067%
AddChargingStationOperator 992 13975938 0,0071%
AddReligionToPlaceOfWorship 1027 13975938 0,0073%
AddRoadWidth 1032 13975938 0,0074%
AddMotorcycleParkingCapacity 1060 13975938 0,0076%
AddIsBuildingUnderground 1102 13975938 0,0079%
AddSelfServiceLaundry 1169 13975938 0,0084%
AddClothingBinOperator 1313 13975938 0,0094%
AddBusStopRef 1335 13975938 0,0096%
SpecifyShopType 1354 13975938 0,0097%
AddIsDefibrillatorIndoor 1388 13975938 0,0099%
AddSuspectedOneway 1501 13975938 0,0107%
AddAtmOperator 1502 13975938 0,0107%
AddInternetAccess 1515 13975938 0,0108%
AddDrinkingWater 1673 13975938 0,0120%
AddChargingStationCapacity 1910 13975938 0,0137%
AddPostboxRef 1919 13975938 0,0137%
AddInformationToTourism 2113 13975938 0,0151%
AddPostboxRoyalCypher 2151 13975938 0,0154%
AddBabyChangingTable 2202 13975938 0,0158%
AddReligionToWaysideShrine 2240 13975938 0,0160%
AddOrchardProduce 2315 13975938 0,0166%
AddGeneralFee 2448 13975938 0,0175%
AddCarWashType 2455 13975938 0,0176%
AddToiletAvailability 2519 13975938 0,0180%
AddMotorcycleParkingCover 2638 13975938 0,0189%
AddBicycleBarrierType 2994 13975938 0,0214%
DetermineRecyclingGlass 3040 13975938 0,0218%
CheckShopType 3736 13975938 0,0267%
AddWheelchairAccessPublicTransport 3834 13975938 0,0274%
AddOneway 4034 13975938 0,0289%
AddHalal 4192 13975938 0,0300%
AddVegan 4536 13975938 0,0325%
AddKosher 5104 13975938 0,0365%
AddFireHydrantDiameter 5136 13975938 0,0367%
AddWheelchairAccessToilets 5293 13975938 0,0379%
AddSport 5531 13975938 0,0396%
AddBoardType 5706 13975938 0,0408%
AddPicnicTableCover 6012 13975938 0,0430%
AddBusStopName 6301 13975938 0,0451%
AddRecyclingType 7075 13975938 0,0506%
AddToiletsFee 7367 13975938 0,0527%
MarkCompletedBuildingConstruction 7492 13975938 0,0536%
AddFireHydrantPosition 9948 13975938 0,0712%
AddRecyclingContainerMaterials 11610 13975938 0,0831%
AddVegetarian 11861 13975938 0,0849%
AddFireHydrantType 11906 13975938 0,0852%
AddBridgeStructure 12060 13975938 0,0863%
AddCrossing 16934 13975938 0,1212%
AddPostboxCollectionTimes 17080 13975938 0,1222%
AddBollardType 18123 13975938 0,1297%
AddPitchLit 19606 13975938 0,1403%
AddRailwayCrossingBarrier 20071 13975938 0,1436%
AddBikeParkingType 20437 13975938 0,1462%
AddPitchSurface 22116 13975938 0,1582%
AddMaxWeight 22556 13975938 0,1614%
AddCyclewaySegregation 25751 13975938 0,1843%
AddBikeParkingCapacity 26817 13975938 0,1919%
AddProhibitedForPedestrians 27273 13975938 0,1951%
AddCyclewayPartSurface 28265 13975938 0,2022%
AddShoulder 28278 13975938 0,2023%
AddFootwayPartSurface 28794 13975938 0,2060%
AddBikeParkingCover 31671 13975938 0,2266%
AddPathSmoothness 33433 13975938 0,2392%
AddPlaygroundAccess 35503 13975938 0,2540%
MarkCompletedHighwayConstruction 40526 13975938 0,2900%
AddStepCount 41660 13975938 0,2981%
AddTracktype 41834 13975938 0,2993%
AddKerbHeight 42755 13975938 0,3059%
AddMaxHeight 43728 13975938 0,3129%
AddRoadSmoothness 44434 13975938 0,3179%
AddTactilePavingKerb 44713 13975938 0,3199%
AddPlaceName 46825 13975938 0,3350%
AddStepsIncline 49162 13975938 0,3518%
AddPowerPolesMaterial 62784 13975938 0,4492%
AddWheelchairAccessBusiness 63226 13975938 0,4524%
AddTrafficSignalsVibration 63457 13975938 0,4540%
AddTrafficSignalsSound 69883 13975938 0,5000%
AddBusStopLit 70486 13975938 0,5043%
AddHandrail 72727 13975938 0,5204%
AddTrafficSignalsButton 75446 13975938 0,5398%
AddStepsRamp 77822 13975938 0,5568%
AddBinStatusOnBusStop 82291 13975938 0,5888%
AddForestLeafType 88295 13975938 0,6318%
AddRoadName 93765 13975938 0,6709%
AddBenchStatusOnBusStop 94389 13975938 0,6754%
AddBenchBackrest 98525 13975938 0,7050%
AddParkingFee 100644 13975938 0,7201%
AddBusStopShelter 107404 13975938 0,7685%
AddParkingType 108408 13975938 0,7757%
AddTactilePavingBusStop 119748 13975938 0,8568%
CheckExistence 124524 13975938 0,8910%
AddParkingAccess 141111 13975938 1,0097%
AddCrossingType 145072 13975938 1,0380%
AddOpeningHours 160341 13975938 1,1473%
AddCrossingIsland 170003 13975938 1,2164%
AddMaxSpeed 190915 13975938 1,3660%
AddAddressStreet 268936 13975938 1,9243%
AddTactilePavingCrosswalk 283199 13975938 2,0263%
AddLanes 325145 13975938 2,3265%
AddSidewalk 427435 13975938 3,0584%
AddHousenumber 441068 13975938 3,1559%
AddCycleway 448175 13975938 3,2068%
AddRoofShape 850171 13975938 6,0831%
AddPathSurface 999441 13975938 7,1512%
AddBuildingLevels 1379383 13975938 9,8697%
AddWayLit 1541163 13975938 11,0273%
AddRoadSurface 1726590 13975938 12,3540%
AddBuildingType 1889532 13975938 13,5199%

What can we take away from these statistics?

We can see very well that StreetComplete is quite undiversified in terms of its use and its users. Few people are responsible for the majority of all solved quests. Mainly StreetComplete is used to add details to houses, streets and roads. This doesn’t seem too surprising, since a city consists mostly of houses, streets and roads. In this respect, it is not a big deal that a large part of the solved quests are also related to these object types. As for the users, it looks a little different: Of the 5000+ users I examined, 100 are responsible for 30% of all quests solved. And while in the video version of this post I conclude that this is an indication of the not-so-good-looking diversification in OpenStreetMap, I’ve since done some more thinking and come to a different conclusion. You have to count out the power users much more than aligning the other users with them. So the average user doesn’t do proportionally little, but the power users do proportionally a lot. Looking at it this way, StreetComplete has a good user base that contributes relatively evenly to OpenStreetMap.

Just a question, when searching for any substation. As an example, here is Pembroke Substation:

However searching using the words “Pembroke Substation” returns significantly wrong results ie: in Bristol, Dublin, and even Florida!

The Name field is spelled correctly as “Pembroke Substation”, copy/pasting these exact words from the Name field into the search bar still can’t find it.

I have only been researching substations in South Wales so far, and they all have had good accurate naming, and are wither a Way if a single entity, or a Relation if more than one Way is used.

Is there a setting somewhere to enable this search? Maybe someone could drop me a message.

Many thanks, Scott

Annadruman Ring Fort, Castleblayney, Monaghan, Rep of Ireland

Location: Broomfield, Carrickmacross-Castleblaney Municipal District, County Monaghan, Ireland
Posted by SLMapper on 12 May 2022 in English (English).


Hi, this is my first osm blog post :-)

Recently I stumbled upon some large areas that where mapped as forest, but Bing aerial imagery showed just a bleak, empty space. I was irritated first, shocked right after - having some thoughts about the earth climate in mind. Only some time later recognized: “Ok, wait. What do you think where your furniture comes from? This kind of thing has to happen. These are actually reneable resources.”


Album, comparing Bing, Esri and Esri Clarity imagery

Checking sources

So with less shock I went ahead to look around. I wanted to make sure that the imagery I was looking at, really was the latest one. The empty area and the visual progression between the different images already told a certain story. When zooming close into the Bing imagery, you could see the cut off stumps and occasionally even some stapled wood. closeup2

I tried to find dates for the different aerial imagery and also checked if there were any street level photos nearby. The Mapillary images I found were partially helpful. They were dated to October 2019 and there the stumps were also visible.

I had 3 different aerial image material available: 1. Esri/Mapbox/Maxar 2. Esri Clarity 3. Bing

Bing material information did not show any dates for Bing, neither did Esri Clarity. But for Esri it mostly showed 22. Mai 2010, but partially 3. Mai 2017. You can clearly see the difference between existing trees in 2010 and cut off trees in 2017. esri-image-material-grid

More to the south the Esri imagary was even from 2021, and there more cut off can be seen, which is not yet visible in Bing imagery (and also not yet mapped). esri-image-material-grid-2021


While it was interesting to analyze the imagery, my agenda with osm was a different one - to enhance the map. So for everybody waiting for the editing part, here you go. Let me jump into how I experinaced it and explain more considerations on the go.

My first thoughts were: hey there are no trees. If it is mapped as a forest, this is wrong. Double checking the wiki: ok mainly no trees, which means e.g. a clearing can still be part of the forest. But imho not a whole section that is gone.

Next question: what actually is a forest. I know the discussion between landuse=forest and natural=wood, but that’s not what I was after. Rather: is it a larger, defined (maybe named) area of wood or can it be also parts of it (like a compound) or any (visual) collection of wood? - also answered in the wiki: Actually it could be any collection of (managed) wood, because for the defined/named parts there is boundary=forest (not often used) and boundary=forest_compartment.

Ok, so let’s go: Deleting all the wrongly tagged forests … … … I recognized soon that often I could not just delete them, because they where stretching partially over tree covered and no longer tree covered areas.

Only later I thought about if it was a good idea to completely delete these areas, as the geometry might have been interesting for nowerdays use as well, even when it is no longer covered with trees. However also I did not find an approriate tag for cut down wood. Maybe you can give your inputs / advice on this.

How did I deal with the overlapping geometry?

  • in the easier case I could just move around some nodes to decrease the wooded area (red means deleted, green means added, blue means unchanged) geometry-change
  • but in more complex cases (when there were several parts of wood remaining), I mostly decided to split up the area. This is something I did not do before in iD and always asked myself how it is possible, so I was about to find out. splitting-geometry
Splitting areas in iD

How did I do the split in iD editor? In case you know an easier way please let me know

  1. create at least 2 additional nodes where I want to split (to preserve more geometry, create 3 close-by on each side and choose the middle ones)
  2. mark them (with holding shift)
  3. combine them (by pressing ‘c’)
  4. split them (by pressing ‘x’)
    • now you are left with a polygon landuse=forest with 2 members
  5. delete the 2 members
    • now you are left with a way that is connected in 1 point (once you mark them the light grey lines turn into white and become more visible)
  6. separate the way on the overlapping node (by pressing ‘d’)
  7. separately connect the 4 ends
  8. give the 2 new areas a landuse=forest split-area-in-id
Wood rotation

Now coming to the point why this blog post is called “wood rotation” and not “deforestation”: When comparing different aerial imagery, to my surprise I found that in some areas, where nothing was visible on an imagery I rated older, in the newer imagery there were some green areas visible. First it made me overthink my hypotesis of image age. But soon I recognized that these had to be newly grown trees. new-trees

After understanding this it was pretty well visible by the form of the tree rows, that this trees had been artifically planeted to re-grow the forest (reforestation). So I looked for a matching tag and started mapping these (formerly unmapped) areas with landuse=plant_nursery. Small amount of them had existing mapping with natural=scrub which partially I kept where trees did not seem to be placed in structured rows, or changed otherwise.

Here are my changesets:

Open questions / considerations
  • Where I currently stopped: What about named forests. Are they implying some sort of legal or geographical boundary or ownership? If that would be the case they should maybe better be boundary=forest and then the tree feature itself can still be modified, right?
  • Is it worth keeping the geometry of a cut off part of the forest?
  • Is it in general a good idea to “micro”-map a forest that is constantly changing over the years? What should be ideally covered by a forest geometry? A visible part or a much bigger area (than can from time to time have wood or not).

    While writing this blog I recognized the layer OS OpenMap Local with date April 2021. From what I understand this is a 3rd party open data map provider. If I interpret the green color correct, they are considering the whole bigger area (much more then visible on the screenshot) a forest, even when there is no tree cover everywhere. open-Map2021


You may want to mention that I have never been at this place nor asked people who have been there. That is correct. However I think that after the amount of considerations I did, I could be certain enough to do the mentioned updates. Of course I could have asked people earlier about their opinion, but while recognizing this in the middle-off I thought that I will just continue the changes with the most carefulness I can and hope that the positive aspects will predominate any potential negative ones.

In case you have more up to date information I would love to get in contact with you. As you might have seen there are more areas of tree rotation around that are awaiting to be mappedwork-left


Even when I saw reforestation, I saw much more deforestation, which still makes me feel uncomfortable. If you want to influence the climate in a positive way, plant a tree :-)

To summarize, mapping this was very interesting and eye opening. I learned something about

  • my own short term narrowness in thinking
  • forestry
  • landscape in the south of Scotland
  • iD editor
  • how long it takes to write a well-detailed blog post ;-)
Location: Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, United Kingdom

Three screenshots of the editor

Today I’m proud to present my new OpenStreetMap editor. It’s called Every Door and works on both iPhones and Androids. I shared the idea last Summer at a State of the Map, but started writing just late October. In the last month and a half thirty people made ten thousand edits with the editor and helped make it much better. Now I’m launching the open testing.

The official website has links to TestFlight and Google Play, a short video, and a FAQ.

I’ve got just one feeling: at long last. One way or another I was suggesting something like that for OSM since 2013. Made a failed attempt with OpenSurveyor. Watched with hope for big company projects with paid developers — but all these have disappeared. In this time we’ve got one amazing StreetComplete, which I like a lot, although it’s not for me.

Every Door is not StreetComplete. It’s not for everybody who’s got a minute to answer a few questions on the phone. This editor is for dedicated mappers. For her who, walking in a mall with hundreds of shops, thinks it’d be awesome to add each one of these to the map. For him who, pushing a stroller, dreams of mapping every sandpit and swing. For “fanatics” ready to add every street lamp, bench, and every tree in a park. This is a proper editor, with which you can forget about photomapping and trace recording.

Install Every Door today and help me make it better. The open testing will commence till late June at least, and in that time we’ll update the interface, polish input fields, add many heuristics inside. And on the way we’ll map hundreds of thousands of shops. Anything to make using the editor fun and exciting, so that our map grows even richer.

Posted by Natfoot on 11 May 2022 in English (English).

I am following ᚛ᚐᚋᚐᚅᚇᚐ᚜ as they are leading the way with a diary entry. This will be a work in progress entry until the end of May.

  • Mapping OSM
    • I continue to map railroads and railroad infrastructure. I keep an eye on the North American railway editing as I hope to use the data some time in the future.
    • seamark, I slowly add more to seamark with lights and lit infrastructure.
    • lit, with the above light mapping I have started to look at the lit key on the wiki.
    • I have done some local data shifting to align with import data from buildings.
    • started using Street Complete which has brought on more mapping of sidewalks and parking infrastructure.
    • working on mapping the local community with better on the ground data from the Street Complete app.
  • Mapping OHM
    • Continue to add data to the greater Seattle area thanks to 1936 through 2021 imagery from King County and older TOPO maps from the federal government.
    • added some historically news worthy data to OHM. Always interested to see currently history also included on OHM
    • added more of I-90/route10/sunset highway leading out of Seattle.
  • Discussions
    • Railway
      * Always discussions railway related on the slack us. Most recent was one on switch locks. So railway:switch:lock=yes or railway:switch:lock=no or railway:switch:lock=dispatcher.
      * discussion on traffic signal operated level crossings * discussion on tagging disused and abandoned crossings as they are different depending on imagery. * discussion on use of railway=signal_box for North American bungalows and signal cabinets. this includes any dispatcher controlled boxes track side or crossing boxes.
      * discussion and looking to connect with other about how to tag signals meaning lighted signals in North America. Still looking for input here or on the OpenRailwayMap mailing list.
    • General Discussion * discussion on the use of acronyms in general communication and how it limits communication by others. How it might create a limited or exclusive communication. Lots of users on the Slack channel when I brought it up were against my perspective. * discussion on slack about the lit key. Use of tagging suggested by the ID editor and the inclusion of those tags on the wiki. Discussion of the “Data Item” on the left and the “tag info” on the right. Got an introduction to the tag info list option for the wiki and further discussion on how to implement that on the wiki.
  • Wiki Changes
    • Railway changes with the addition of railway:switch:lock=*
    • Lit changes to include other recommended tags within the ID editor and try to describe them so that others will make similar edits in the future. Please change the formatting or list depreciated or not recommended tags instead of deleting them.

I plan to change some of the markup so that more information is referenced.

Now that the weather is more welcoming, i.e. dry, I’ve gone back to mapping walking and hiking trails in my area. I had done that before, either added the trail completely new as a relation with all that’s included, sometimes just added the trail markers, where the trail was already mapped. Most times, I try to do mapillary as well, sometimes just with the phone, sometimes with a 360° camera.

Today, I went to map the O’Gorman’s Lane Loop which is only a 4km walk (that is if you don’t get lost…), but it meets another, longer trail which was already mapped. But anyway, I ran into an American couple, Don and Kim who are exploring Ireland on rented motorbikes, but are also avid hikers and have hiked across the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland etc. Don was telling me that he has this app which shows all the trails and it’s free! And I said, well, it’s people like me who add those trails to OpenStreetMap which in turn adds it to your app. We parted ways, but I had a suspicion that I would run into them again after in the only café in the village. And I did. I walked up to them and gave him an sticker (always handy in any bag I carry around). Once I had taken off my backpack, he could see the “OpenStreetMap surveyor” on my high viz vest, and the penny dropped. He had loads of questions and all the right ones, so I joined their table and chatted away with him.

He said that he wanted to map all the benches along the Camino. :D (We had noticed earlier that there are never enough benches along hiking trails in Ireland.) He also wants his name on one of those benches, and I explained that those little plaques can be added to OSM as well. He was very impressed, I think. They wanted to pay for my scone, but I had already paid. But we decided to share a taxi back, even though I would have been fine on the bus, and had told them about the bus as well.

He might look into it and become a mapper himself, who knows…It’s much easier to “convert” an OSM user into a mapper (even if they don’t know it’s OSM material), I would think.

PS: Videos about how to map hiking trails on my YouTube channel

I started before COVID19. We had some success, but then COVID19 hit us and everything stopped. We are at it again.

Surveillance in Bengaluru

Location: Konappana Agrahara, Electronics City Phase 1, Bangalore South, Bangalore Urban, Karnataka, 560 100, India
Posted by melo_mo on 10 May 2022 in English (English).

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic does not exist in the annals of the United Nations, please remove it from the map.

Location: Mijik, caïdat de Mijik قيادة مجيك, cercle de Bir Anzarane دائرة بئر إنزران, Oued Ed-Dahab Province, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Cartography is an artform. Besides being used for art, it is a practice rooted in subjectivity. For most people, it may be only a means of navigation, but any cartographer acknowledges that they make decisions based on their own opinions when making maps. OpenStreetMap is one of the more objective maps out there, but it’s still not always clear how to map things. As a community, we’ve had to make numerous decisions on the “best” way to map something. Sometimes, we don’t have a singular answer. Users of OpenStreetMap data must interpret these decisions as best they can. Tagging is usually what comes to mind when considering what comes into dispute here, but scope is important as well. And this is where privacy comes in.

Privacy status quo

We have some privacy standards. Besides GDPR compliance, the Data Working Group redacts edits that introduce personal information, such as annotations intended for an individual that may link their account to a real person. It generally isn’t acceptable to map features inside private residences either, like rooms or toilets. These may come as common sense to most, but others still could have counterpoints. The level of detail most are comfortable with is what is visible from street level or the sky. I think this is a good standard, but some are still left uncomfortable. There’s the occasional new mapper who deletes driveways leading to single-family homes. It may not even be their own driveway, but some may be unfamiliar with OpenStreetMap’s tagging system that makes it clear when a driveway is private and that it is, indeed, a driveway. One cannot fault a person for wanting privacy; the concern then is about damaging data (digital vandalism). At least where OpenStreetMap is based, there is no law against making a map of someone else’s property. Legal concerns about cartography are a separate matter not related to individual privacy, which is my focus here.

Does OpenStreetMap protect individual privacy? Depends on who you ask. I’d say so, but this essay isn’t about my opinions on privacy. It’s about ensuring people feel their privacy is respected by the site, within reason. Why? Because last year, I found someone who saw OpenStreetMap as a threat. So much so that they spent multiple days edit-warring, creating several accounts, and making vague legal-tinged threats at me for mapping their house and driveway. I was poorly equipped to deal with the user, and even though the Data Working Group was involved, the conflict only ended because the offending user gave up. My conduct began acceptable, but as I became exasperated turned pseudo-professional. It is important that users can deal with these issues before they are turned over to the Data Working Group, but I had nothing to go off.

The dispute

I was confident I was in the right, but not all mappers might feel that way. Some might even take the vandal’s side. Because only I and the Data Working Group had any lasting involvement in the dispute, this issue has been forgotten. Nothing has been written about it. Only a brief discussion occurred in the OpenStreetMap US Slack server. As it happened over a year ago and was not recurring, I’d stopped paying it mind a while ago. I am sure that similar disputes exist, but I have not noticed them. I personally feel like I know what to do if I am involved in the following situation again, but it is just as important that others feel the same.

Enter June 2020. A user going by Hans Thompson has added AI-generated buildings in the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska, using RapiD. Among these buildings is an unnotable house with a detached garage. The only tag on these buildings is building=yes.

February 2021 rolls around and someone signs up for an OpenStreetMap account under the username Privacy1. This user had previously created an account called Map_Manager that was used two years earlier to delete a litany of tracks and trails on private property. It is unclear if this was their own property. A week before creating this new account, they had returned to delete more trails from this property, but did not touch the house. One day before the new account was created, Hans also mapped the driveway leading to the house. This likely spurred the account creation, but no deletions were made until five days later. The edit was posted to Slack, prompting me to comment. My focus was made particularly on the changeset comment, which indicated to me that the user did not understand how OpenStreetMap functions. The user left a reply rehashing their changeset comment, leading to two other users explaining in other terms what I’d said.

Eight hours later, I reverted the changeset. Less than four hours later, they deleted the feature again, with the same comment. I requested they reply to my original comment, but to no avail. After just 20 minutes, I again reverted their deletions. Three hours passed and once again, they deleted the house, garage, and driveway, still with the same changeset comment. I left another comment notifying them that I had contacted the Data Working Group. At this point, I had quickened my pace, reverting their edit in just over seven minutes. At the same time, I started becoming irritated, and rather than use boilerplate about the changeset I reverted, I communicated my willingness to revert their vandalism as many times as was necessary. Four hours later, they returned, but this time with a new changeset comment, oddly accompanied by a French translation. This time, they pleaded for their privacy and to be left alone. Another user chimed in, explaining that their privacy was not threatened by the map features. At this point, I was asleep, so it took two hours, but I did come back. Refreshed, I switched back to boilerplate with my new reversion. They responded in equal time, but with a simpler message firmly requesting no “annotation” be made to their private property. Yet another user told them off, but still nothing was heard directly. Being a school day, it was nine hours before I could revert the changeset, but I persisted. They seemed to have caught on, as they set a new record with just a two-and-a-half-hour delay. No updates in the changeset comment department to report.. I left them another comment explaining what was wrong with their actions, but to no avail. I waited an hour for a vain attempt at submitting the 100 millionth changeset, but was slightly too late, and got number 100000019. Another new record was set by their hour and a half response time. One of the users that had told them off earlier in the dispute chimed in again, and I let him know the issue. I was a little passive-aggressive in expressing my disapproval that the Data Working Group had not yet taken action. This user reverted the deletion himself, which was greatly appreciated but in vain, as two hours later the user came back. Sick of writing changeset comments, an hour later I said nothing at all. They returned with a slightly revised changeset comment which I called out, but no one heard it. I decided to create a Wikidata entry for the home in the hopes that they would be unable to figure out how to delete it, but it did not help. I also used the city’s property information website to add the year the home was built. This mapping was done out of spite; call it silly, but it is a good act, or at least a neutral one. They had no more trouble deleting this, though. The aforementioned other editor again reverted the deletion, and added an explanation in the source tag of their changeset. It took eleven hours, but they did return, and deleted some other nearby features that weren’t even on their property to boot. We were clearly talking in circles at this point; I merely link every single changeset here to illustrate the user’s persistence. I laid out as clearly as I could in ten minutes that the user needed to stop in my next reversion comment, and that while I did respect their privacy, their privacy rights do not go as far as they claim. An hour and a half, a deletion, eight minutes, a reply quoting the dictionary at the user, a reversion, and then finally, a year long block. This was only a temporary roadblock (no pun intended) to them; 22 hours later, they returned with a new account they were clearly trying to pass off as a different person with a changeset comment insinuating the features in dispute were “mapping errors”, while talking only in French and using a French username. This one was blocked too, with a much more threatening comment. Perhaps the idea of legal action got them to wise up? A ten-year block finally scared them off. And so the features stand, with even more detail thanks to wonderful members of the community.

The aftermath

This subject has undoubtedly come up elsewhere, but there’s no guidance I could find on the wiki. I still have lingering questions, and here, now, I hope to pose them to other OpenStreetMap users so that we can all feel respected and be more welcoming to users with legitimate concerns. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the situation and these questions, or links to similar discussions.

  • Was it unethical for this user to access someone else’s computer (OpenStreetMap servers) after they had been banned from doing so for the sake of protecting their privacy in an extralegal manner?
  • What could I have done better?
  • Is it acceptable for the Data Working Group to move straight to a long block just because other users attempted to explain the site’s policies to them first?
  • What do we say to other users with a similar concern? Is being upfront about the legal problems threatening, or merely truthful and effective?
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States